Group B: Germany Ã¢ÂÂ Herr There or Thereabouts
More tongue-in-cheek Euros previewage from the Back of the Net boys. Here, John Foster on a team you could never call a dark horse: Germany...
Famously always there or thereabouts, Germany were last there in 1996, and an exciting squad will fancy their chances of being there again in 2012 after 2008's final defeat to Spain consigned them to thereabouts.
Road to Poland and Ukraine
Germany qualify automatically, since a European Championships without Germany would be like a summerÃ¢ÂÂs day without the sound of childrenÃ¢ÂÂs laughter.
Winners of three European Championships and an equal number of World Cups, GermanyÃ¢ÂÂs consistent success is attributed by many experts to the fact that theyÃ¢ÂÂre always really good. A brief experiment with being really bad ended in humiliating failure at Euro 2000, and has not been repeated since.
Since replacing JÃÂ¼rgen Klinsmann in 2006, Joachim LÃÂ¶w has proved himself to be one of the brightest coaches in world football, despite constantly looking like an apprehensive homeopath. Ã¢ÂÂJogi LÃÂ¶wÃ¢ÂÂ is also the most fun name to say aloud of any of the Euro 2012 bosses, though it is also fun to attempt to say Ã¢ÂÂLaurent BlancÃ¢ÂÂ while holding your nose.
Man to watch
Bastian Schweinsteiger will be desperate to go all the way, after a season of near misses that saw him finish runner-up in the Bundesliga, lose in the final of the German Cup and the Champions League, and come second in a creative writing contest with a short story about a time-travelling architect who solves mysteries.
Did you know?
GermanyÃ¢ÂÂs classic kit of white shirts and black shorts is modelled after the Fulham team that swept all before them in the Southern League Division 1 in 1906/07.
Worth a bet?
Germany are available at 3/1 to be there, and an even more tempting 6/5 to be thereabouts. Consider backing them each way.
More from Back of the Net
Group A: Poland Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Russia Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Greece Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Czech Republic
Group B: Netherlands Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Germany Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Portugal Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Denmark
Group C: Spain Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Italy Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Croatia Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Republic of Ireland
Group D: Ukraine Ã¢ÂÂ¢ England Ã¢ÂÂ¢ France Ã¢ÂÂ¢ Sweden